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No plans to close Artisanal Foods market, owners say

Updated July 1, 2022 - 11:22 am

Editor’s note: In last Sunday’s On the Side column, the Review-Journal incorrectly reported that Artisanal Foods had permanently closed its doors. The business is open, and owners Jonathan and Jinelle Batista spoke with the Review-Journal about the state of their business.

Artisanal Foods is still open, with no plans to close it, said owners Jonathan and Jinelle Batista. But the business is “in a transitional period,” Jonathan Batista said. The business, the couple said, encompasses a 15,000-square foot retail market (the former Circuit City space) at 4860 S. Eastern Ave., a wholesale arm that sells to restaurants and casinos, and an online marketplace at artisanalfoods.com.

Rumors of the early demise of the retail market might have begun with an incident in March, Jonathan Batista said. Improperly completed work by a vendor to the refrigeration system triggered a failure in the market’s other environmental systems, he said. The upshot? The market shut down for a week in April to correctly dispose of perishable food, he said.

June 21 and 22 Facebook posts by Jinelle Batista that referred to a “liquidation sale” might have added to the confusion. The posts offered images of some of the items being sold, including a pool table and a chaise lounge.

“I meant to say we wanted to get space for more products. It does not say we are going out of business,” Jinelle Batista said. From now until July 15, she said, products in the store will be 30 to 50 percent off.

Instead of past confusion, the couple said they were looking ahead to what they called Phase 2. That’s the plan to transform the current Artisanal Foods retail market into a “culinary experience,” as Jonathan Batista put it, combining retail products, food stalls mainly operated by outside vendors (Jinelle Batista might have her own), and ghost kitchens, which are commercial kitchens rented out to businesses that do not have kitchens of their own.

“It’s Eataly for locals. That’s what we want to do,” Jonathan Batista said, referring to the chain of large Italian marketplaces, one of which is in Park MGM on the Strip.

“We’re discussing it with three groups of potential investors that might want to come in and facilitate that next phase,” he said, adding the couple hoped to raise $150,000 for the Phase 2 buildout.

The Batistas moved from New York to Las Vegas in 2018; they purchased the Artisanal Foods corporate entity in May 2021, they said. Phase 2 was always the plan; purchasing the company was the first step in that plan, they said.

Email tips, questions or feedback to ontheside@reviewjournal.com.

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